One Million Moms is currently whingeing about Kraft Foods for its new Let's Get Zesty salad dressing advertising campaign. The campaigners argue that the advert uses sex to sell by promoting a nearly-naked Zesty Guy as the
official spokesperson for the product.
The group One Million Moms was founded by the nutters of the American Family Association. The groups spouts on its website in a post entitled Shame on Kraft:
Kraft has gone too far and will push away loyal, conservative customers with this new ad campaign. Christians will not be able to buy Kraft dressings or any of their products until they clean up their advertising. The consumers they are
attempting to attract -- women and mothers -- are the very ones they are driving away.
The nutter group amusingly adds that it has to use asterisked words to get round email filters set up especially to please nutter groups just like them:
Who will want Kraft products in their fridge or pantry if this vulgarity is what they represent? One Million Moms cannot get over the gall of this company. It is unnecessary for Kraft to use s*x to sell salad dressing!
Kraft has explained its advertising campaign, describing it in a recent statement as a playful way to promote salad dressing.
Our Kraft dressing's 'Let's Get Zesty' campaign is a playful and flirtatious way to reach our consumers. People have overwhelmingly said they're enjoying the campaign and having fun with it.
Dating website CougarLife.com has had a TV advert banned in which a sexy older woman runs roughshod over younger women in a bar while explaining why cougars are better dates.
It was banned by the Television Bureau of Canada, unless the sandwich-shoving and the chair-pushing shots are cut.
Cougar Life is owned by Toronto-based Avid Life Media who issued a press release with the ad's actress, porn star Julia Ann---claiming that the commercial, which has run in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, has been banned from Canadian airwaves
by Television Bureau of Canada. Ann said:
I'm kinda stunned by the whole thing. I find it interesting that in a country where a sport like, say, hockey is so prevalent, admired, supported, and played everywhere---they're heroes and all I have to do is put a sandwich in a girl's face and
it's banned for violence.
Theresa Treutler, president of the Television Bureau of Canada responded:
This CougarLife commercial is not rejected. This commercial is in a pending file---what that means is we have replied to (Avid) and in our reply we offered several potential solutions.
A TV ad, for the domain and web hosting company CrazyDomains, opened in an office boardroom full of men, with the actress Pamela Anderson, who was wearing a buttoned suit jacket over an unbuttoned white shirt, chairing the meeting. She said,
To the next item on the agenda. Gentlemen, if we want this business to stay on top, we need to be at the forefront of the Internet. One of the men (Adam) was shown nodding his head.
Anderson's assistant (Vanessa, who was dressed similarly to Anderson) poured her a cup of coffee and asked if she wanted cream. When pouring the cream, Vanessa's cleavage became visible to Adam, who began to fantasise about Anderson and Vanessa
dancing in bikinis while covered in cream. A close-up shot of Anderson was then shown, calling out for Adam in a suggestive manner. Adam snapped out of his fantasy when Anderson called his name in a stern tone. She asked him, What are we going
to do about our web address? to which he responded hesitantly, Crazy... Domains.co.uk? Anderson said. Very good, Adam before the final scene showed Vanessa leaning beside Adam pouring a cup of coffee, revealing her cleavage
The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast before 9pm. Issue
Four viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive, because they considered it sexist and degrading to women.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA understood that the ad was intended as a parody of a mundane business meeting and was intended to be humorous and light-hearted. Whilst we noted Dreamscape Networks' and Clearcast's comments about the female characters being portrayed as
strong, confident business women, we considered that they were also portrayed sexually throughout the ad, not just during the fantasy sequence. We noted that even though they were wearing business attire, their shirts were buttoned down so that
they were exposing their bras and cleavages. Furthermore, during the fantasy sequence, they were seen dancing and writhing around in cream whilst wearing bikinis. Although the fantasy scene, which we considered was sexually suggestive, was
limited to Adam's imagination, we considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers on the basis
that it was sexist and degrading to women.
The ad breached BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.
A TV advertisement for the zombie game sequel Dead Island: Riptide has been banned by Australia's advert censor.
The ad, plucked from the game's opening cinematic features a young couple choosing to blow themselves up rather than face the zombie hoard.
According to Australian website Mumbrella claimed:
The ad is too graphic in terms of its depiction of suicide, particularly the final image of the man hanging from a tree because it may be very traumatic for those who have lost a family member to suicide.
The Advertising Standards Board upheld the complaints, claiming the issue of suicide is a very significant community concern and (the Board) considered that the use of images which are strongly suggestive of suicide is not appropriate in the
context of a television advertisement for a computer game.
The Department for Censorship, Media and Sport writes:
Adverts shown in cinemas will no longer have to be reviewed by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) under plans announced today.
At the moment all cinema advertisements are subject to the Advertising Standard Authority's (ASA) Committee on Advertising Practice Code, but also have to be reviewed by the BBFC as well.
Following a public consultation, in which the majority of responses favoured removing the BBFC requirement, we believe deregulation is fully justified. We think that the application of the ASA's code provides the right
levels of consumer advice and protection.
We are now looking at the best way to bring about the planned changes, and we will make an announcement in due course.
But don't worry about the BBFC... They have picked up a new job of censoring pop videos and other currently exempt videos.
The political party, Katter's Australia Party, has put up a Private Members Bill which would see advertising billboards given classifications from G to MA15+ and also levy a tax on the more risque advertising.
Under the proposal, a censorship panel would be set up to determine the rating of billboards. The panel would also split the state into classification zones , so only G-rated billboards could be shown in a G-classified zone and PG-rated
billboards in PG zones. Only G-rated posters could be anywhere near schools, hospitals, bus stops and sporting fields, while M and MA15+ billboards would be severely restricted to areas rarely frequented by children , such as industrial
The cost of the panel, who and how many people would be on it and how they would make their judgments was yet to be determined by the KAP.
KAP Queensland leader Ray Hopper said the explicit material he would want to see branded MA15+ included signs promoting products that boast longer lasting sex . He said that the scantily-clad women on a Sin City billboard on the M1 would
be unlikely to be acceptable under the proposal. Hopper said the levy should be 10% of the cost of advertising on the billboard.
The proposed Bill is now set to come up for debate some time during the year.
A billboard on Sunset Boulevard for CougarLife.com, showing a naked woman breastfeeding her baby will be taken down in response to a few negative comments.
CougarLife.com is an online dating site that connects older women with younger men. In the billboard advertisement, a thought bubble floats above the child's head with a one-word question: Jealous? The advertisement also pixelates the
point at which the baby's lips meet the mother's nipples, much like adult content.
Cougar Life spokeswoman Marlo Jordan said in a statement to The Huffington Post:
There is no reason for this billboard to be taken down. The Farmers Market is actually the perfect place to showcase this ad. There is nothing more natural than a woman breastfeeding.
People may have been offended by the message of older women dating younger men, but I find that shocking in this day in age.
WetPaint reports that CougarLife received a few angry tweets on its twitter feed.
The City of West Hollywood wasn't involved in the billboard removal, said a spokesperson. Instead, local people worked directly with Van Wagner communications to take it down.
Cougar Life are somewhat unrepentant, A blog post cougarlife.com reads:
We are baaack! The cougar dating site that brought you the infamous CougarLife.com...For Motherf*ckers billboard last year has returned with a brand new, car-wreck-inducing Mother's Day themed ad in the exact same upscale location.
Foxtel has apologised and said it will remove a Sydney billboard alluding to bestiality that was clearly in appalling taste .
The prominent billboard advertising the Foxtel arts channel Studio is currently placed on William Street in Kings Cross and depicts a man simulating sex with a pig.
A spokesman for Foxtel said that the billboard:
Was intended to provoke, but is clearly in appalling taste and demonstrates a lapse of judgment by Studio and a failure in the approvals process at Foxtel.
Once senior management at Foxtel became aware of the nature of the image we instructed Studio to remove and replace the billboard.
The image was taken from an episode of the British television mini-series Black Mirror, by Charlie Brooker. In the episode, a princess is kidnapped and her captor demands that the British prime minister have sex with a pig on live national
television before she is released.
The show is screening on the Foxtel channel Studio as part of its Festival of WTF.
Wendy Francis, of the Australian Christian Lobby, said the prominent billboard was distressing and inappropriate, especially for children:
The damage is already done. It's already up now, it's got media attention. This is exactly what these advertisers want. They know this is damaging children. They know that this is not normal behaviour. They know that it will create attention.
They are not thinking of our society, of children being confronted by adult concepts. And these are adult concepts that are not even normal.
The Annual report speaks little of censorship issues beyond a few general paragraphs about pandering to the sexualisationists, particularly for outdoor advertising.
The ASA continue to provide the their 10 best adverts of the year as judged by votes from whingers. Note that this year the numbers may be reduced because the ASA web page for complaints, now indicates when the ASA has received enough complaints
(about 100) about a particular advert.
1008 complaints: Not upheld
This TV ad, one of a series for the price comparison website, featured the former footballer Stuart Pearce kicking a football into the stomach of an opera singer. We ruled that the ad was not offensive, irresponsible or harmful, because the ad
was not explicit or gruesome, and would be seen as light-hearted and comical.
797 complaints: Not upheld
Another TV ad for the price comparison website, this time featuring Sue Barker taking aim and shooting the main character with a rocket launcher. We ruled the ads was not offensive or harmful because it showed over-the-top and fantastical
behaviour and would be seen as light-hearted and comical. We also noted that the main character was shown unharmed at the end of the ad.
620 complaints: Not upheld
This TV ad, which featured a mother carrying out various tasks in preparation for Christmas, prompted complaints it was sexist. We did not uphold the complaints. We also rejected complaints that the ad was offensive to single fathers or men who
played a primary domestic role. We thought the ad reflected ASDA's view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of their customers.
373 complaints: Upheld in part
A series of ads for the TV programme My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, appearing on posters and in national and regional press and magazines, prompted complaints that they were offensive, racist and unfairly denigrated and degraded Gypsy and Traveller
communities. After a request from the Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications to re-open our investigation, we agreed that some of the images together with the accompanying text were offensive and irresponsible.
371 complaints: Upheld in part
We did not uphold complaints that the nudity in a TV ad for Richmond Ham was offensive. However, we agreed with complainants that referring to the product as Britain's only ham would be interpreted as meaning the product was British
in origin, when that was not the case.
311 complaints: Out of remit
We received complaints that an online ad on Paddy Power's YouTube channel was offensive to members of the transgender community. The channel was registered in Ireland, and so it fell outside of our remit. We did however uphold a small number of
complaints about the same ad which appeared on TV.
(= 7th) Kellogg's
234 complaints: Not upheld
We did not uphold complaints that a TV ad for breakfast cereal showing a man being attacked by a snake was unduly distressing. We acknowledged that some viewers might find the theme of the ad distasteful, but that most would view it as comical
rather than graphic.
(= 7th) Wm Morrison Supermarkets
234 complaints: Not upheld
This TV ad prompted a number of complaints that it was irresponsible and harmful because it implied that it was acceptable to feed Christmas pudding to dogs. We didn't think the ad implied it was acceptable to copy this behaviour, as the dog
did not eat the pudding. Also dog owners would be aware of the toxicity of grapes, raisins and other foods to their pets
Kayak Software Corporation
189 complaints: Upheld in part
We ruled that this TV ad showing a man receiving brain surgery would be likely to cause distress without justifiable reason especially to viewers who had been affected by the type of operation depicted in the ad. We did not uphold
complaints that the ad was offensive in general.
St John Ambulance
144 complaints: Not upheld
We did not uphold the complaints about this TV ad, which showed a man and his family coping with his diagnosis, treatment and eventual recovery from cancer, only for him to die by choking to death on a piece of food. Although distressing in its
portrayal, we felt the overall message of the ad (that the relatively simple techniques of first aid could avoid sudden tragedy), was justifiable.
Two posters and a website promoted an energy drink:
a. A poster, which appeared in various locations across the UK, stated pussy in large, bold text in the centre of the ad. Smaller text below stated The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem". Text on
an image of the product stated "pussy natural energy" and text below the image stated "100% Natural Energy".
b. A second poster, which also appeared in various locations across the UK, stated "Outrageous" in large, bold text in the centre of the ad. Smaller text below stated "An energy drink that actually tastes
good". Large text to the left of the headline stated "pussy" and smaller text below stated "NATURAL ENERGY 100% Natural Ingredients".
c. Claims on www.pussydrinks.com stated "THE DRINK'S PURE It's your mind that's the problem. 100% Natural Energy". Smaller text at the bottom of the home page stated "Our goal is Global Pussyfication and we
aim to bring Pussy within everyone's reach" and invited those interested in distributing the product to contact them.
There were 156 complainants about the ads.
Most complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive, because they considered it implied a sexually explicit reference. Some complainants also considered it was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.
Some complainants also challenged whether ad (b) was offensive, on the same basis.
Two complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive to those with religious beliefs and was unsuitable to be displayed near to a church.
Many complainants also challenged whether ad (a) was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.
Some complainants challenged whether ad (b) was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.
Two complainants challenged whether ad (c) was offensive, because it implied a sexually explicit reference, was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.
2,3,5,6: Not upheld
The ASA considered that some consumers would recognise that the term "pussy" had both a conventional and slang meaning and could therefore be understood to colloquially refer to the female genitals, as well as retaining the traditional
meaning of 'cat or kitten. We noted that ad (a) stated The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem and considered that the ad consciously made reference to the dual meaning of the word pussy, including its colloquial meaning, which some
would consider sexually explicit, as well as showing an awareness that the colloquial use of the term pussy might be considered impure or problematic, and could therefore cause offence.
We acknowledged that 63 complainants had objected that the term pussy was, in itself, a derogatory and sexist term, which was particularly offensive to women. Although we considered that the colloquial meaning of pussy could be
understood to be a sexually explicit term, we noted that the way in which the term pussy was used in the ads did not make express reference to women, beyond its colloquial meaning denoting the female genitals. We did not consider that ad
(a) made particular reference to the behaviour or portrayal of women and, therefore, did not consider that, in that context, ad (a) was likely to be interpreted by most consumers as referring to or portraying women in a derogatory or sexist way.
However, we nonetheless concluded that because ad (a) made express reference to the dual meaning of the word pussy , it would be understood to be intended as a sexually explicit reference which, in the context in which it appeared in ad
(a), was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.
On that point, ad (a) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).
We noted that there were no restrictions on the placement of ad (a) and it would be seen by children of all ages, but considered that very young children were unlikely to be aware of the colloquial meaning of pussy . We considered,
however, that some older children were likely to know and understand that colloquial meaning or be aware that the term had a secondary meaning which had a different connotation or impact than simply meaning cat or kitten .
We noted that the slogan in ad (a) stated The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem and considered that strongly suggested that the term pussy had a secondary meaning which was not pure and was a problem ,
and considered that slogan reinforced the colloquial meaning of pussy to those older children or implied that that secondary, colloquial meaning was in some way impolite or even offensive or sexually explicit.
We therefore considered that because ad (a) made express reference to the dual meaning of the word pussy , it would be understood by some older children to be intended as an offensive or sexually explicit reference, and concluded that ad
(a) was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.
On that point, ad (a) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).
SIR -- We want to see an immediate end to all advertising aimed at children of primary school age and younger. We have sleepwalked into a situation where the advertising industry, worth £12 billion a year in Britain alone,
is allowed to turn techniques designed to manipulate adult emotions and desires on to children as young as two or three. This is wrong.
Almost all children under 11 depend on their parents for money. So advertising makes heavy use of "pester power", as it is more effective than targeting parents directly. Yet a civilised society should require
advertisers to sell to parents, not to children. When children are learning about the cost of material things, and about managing small quantities of money, they should be free to do so without the pressures put on them by advertising.
As things stand, we are in danger of turning out young consumers rather than young citizens -- people who define themselves more by what they buy than by what they can contribute to society. Children should be free to
channel their energies into forming friendships, discovering their talents and unleashing their imaginations; things that cost little but whose value is immeasurable.
Bans on advertising aimed at young children are already working in places such as Sweden, Quebec and Greece. It's time for a similar ban here.
Jonathan Kent, Co-founder, Leave Our Kids Alone
Rupert Read, Co-Founder, Leave Our Kids Alone
Bel Mooney, Writer
George Monbiot, Author, journalist and campaigner Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party of England and Wales
Caroline Lucas, Green MP
Sue Palmer, Author, 'Toxic Childhood'
Claude Knights FRSA, Director of Kidscape
Pippa Smith, Co Chairman, Safermedia
Miranda Suit , Co Chairman, Safermedia
And many others
Comment: I Have No Time For Fucking Self Serving Middle Class Authoritarians Posing As Liberals
Images on the advertising page of the American Apparel website www.americanapparel.net included:
a. Under the heading Bodysuits and Thigh-Highs , six images of a female in a black lycra bodysuit and blue thigh high socks. The model was on a bed and her face was not shown. One of the shots showed her from the chest down and the other
five were from the area around the waist or lower. In two of the shots the model was depicted from the front and had her legs open and another showed her from behind in a kneeling position. The other three images showed her from the side, either
in a kneeling or reclining position.
b. Along with the text Meet Trudy. Trudy is a St. Louis native who has been travelling for the company since 2009 as a store consultant. Her hobbies include vintage buying as well as singing and dancing to 90's R&B. She is photographed
here wearing the Unisex Oversized Fisherman Turtleneck Sweater . The model was shown from the side wearing only a jumper. Her bottom half appeared naked and she was reclining on a bed with her legs in the air.
A complainant, who believed the models appeared vulnerable, challenged whether:
ad (a) was offensive, because she believed it was overtly sexual and objectified women; and
ad (b) was offensive, because she believed it was overtly sexual. CAP Code (Edition 12)
ASA Assessment: 1. & 2. Complaint upheld
The ASA noted ad (a) did not show the model's face and that the scenes, which showed her on a bed, emphasised her groin and buttocks as well as focusing on her breasts, albeit they were covered. Although we considered it was reasonable for ads
for hosiery to feature women in limited clothing, we considered the images and the model's poses were gratuitous. We considered the images were overtly sexual and that they demeaned women by emphasising the model's groin, buttocks and breasts and
by not including her face.
We noted the woman in ad (b) was fully clothed on her top half but that she was also on a bed and her bottom half appeared naked. Her buttocks were visible, with her legs raised. We considered the image to be gratuitous, particularly in an ad for
knitwear. We also considered the model's facial expression appeared blank, if not unsure, and were concerned that she appeared vulnerable. We considered the image was overtly sexual.
We considered there was a voyeuristic quality to the images, which served to heighten the impression that the women were vulnerable and in sexually provocative poses. For the reasons given, we considered the ads were likely to cause serious
offence to visitors to American Apparel's website. We concluded that they breached the Code.
The ads breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
An anonymous source from AA's corporate team told
racked.com they think the ASA is looking for publicity by singling them out:
We'd like to shoot down the idea that American Apparel is trying to make ads that get banned for publicity. It's the other way around. The ASA grandstands on the AA name to get publicity and that's why they repeatedly come after the company. I
think the fact that the 'ads' in this case weren't even ads but images on our website makes that pretty clear. How can this agency have any say over what a company displays on its site? We've been doing these ads for 10 years. Who are they to
say what is and isn't appropriate?
From what we hear, the ASA is stepping stone for politicians and such in the UK. So it's a nice way to get press, going after things no one would really want to defend. If you think about it, it's a pretty alarming precedent. A non-government
agency decides not only what is or isn't ok, but they decide what is or isn't an ad. In this case, americanapparel.net is an ad, and their means of enforcing the rules are quarterly press releases. The media LOVES this stuff and the ASA knows
it. We don't even run into this kind of trouble in China with our ads. It's nuts.
A few easily offended viewers have whinged to the advert censor about an Irn Bru TV advert that has fun with a Scottish father who's daughter introduces a new English boyfriend.
The Advertising Standards Authority received 67 complaints about the ad showing a Scots dad meeting his daughter's England football supporter boyfriend.
In the clip he almost boils over as the Cockney wideboy reveals he's wearing a 1966 World Cup top. His pet bulldog named Wembley proceeds to fart on a rug designed as a Scottish flag. Each time the raging father calms down after taking a sip of
Complainants have claimed that the advert is racist.
An Irn-Bru spokesman said:
We've not set out to cause offence. Our ads are known for their cheeky sense of humour.
A Greek television advert is being withdrawn after both the country's truckers and the gay community took easy offence.
The ad for AirFastTickets shows a hitchhiker boarding a truck for Turin. As soon as the door shuts, the driver flicks a switch, a neon-lit pink divan with bears and pillows appears in the cabin, and he blows the passenger a suggestive kiss. The
punch line is:
Do you want to travel cheaply, and end up paying for it dearly?
The Hauliers Association whinged:
You have ridiculed Greek truckers brutally and without provocation
Greece's main gay association, OLKE, whinged that the ad typecasts gay men:
Gay men are presented as devious and sex-obsessed people trying to seduce unsuspecting youths. Once again, the easy road of homophobia and stereotypes is chosen to advertise products.
AirFastTickets produced a new version of the ad, in which the driver keeps a skull and electric candles in the back of the cabin and wants to take a detour through the Carpathian mountains. But the truck drivers was still 'outraged':
The new ad presents us as necrophilliacs. We will file a complaint about this one too.
The Irish low budget airline Ryanair is being prosecuted by gender extremists in Spain over the production of their 2013 calendar featuring female cabin crew in bikinis.
Groups in Spain's Malaga province claim the calendar is 'offensive' and exploits female employees. They claim that the public use of these images is illegal.
The case is set to be heard before a three-judge panel on April 30.
The calendar is sold on all Ryanair flights for $12 and all proceeds go to the Polish TVN Foundation, which helps children suffering with cystic fibrosis. The company expects to raise $128,508 for the charity.